Timber Home Living - - Special Design Section -


This open, shared space is what lures many peo­ple to the tim­ber home life­style in the first place. Im­ages of fam­ily time spent around a game board or shar­ing a bot­tle of wine in front of a cozy fire are def­i­nitely a draw, but smart plan­ning goes a long way to long-term sat­is­fac­tion with your great room. Win­dow size and place­ment are fun­da­men­tal con­sid­er­a­tions, but also de­cide what fur­ni­ture you’ll use be­fore you lay it out. And avoid poor traf­fic flow just be­cause you needed three more inches to fit your sofa against a wall.


For most fam­i­lies, the great room’s true fo­cal point isn’t the fire­place but the tele­vi­sion, so Salant be­lieves you should be­gin this room’s lay­out with TV place­ment. Plan how to avoid glare on the screen with­out hav­ing to close cur­tains and block the out­side view.


Tro­phy great rooms with huge ceil­ings are out, ac­cord­ing to Kyl­loe. “Hu­man be­ings are so­cial crea­tures, so keep ceil­ings low to fos­ter in­ti­macy and cre­ate warmth,” he says.


With his ar­chi­tect’s eye, Carr sug­gests mak­ing the great room’s width and length nearly the same, then treat­ing the space as four quad­rants with dif­fer­ing func­tions: cook­ing, eat­ing, view seat­ing and fire­place seat­ing/game space.


“Be sure an ad­join­ing deck or porch doesn’t ob­struct your view,” warns Lip­pert. “Con­sider elim­i­nat­ing view-block­ing balus­ters and opt for clear, tem­pered glass in­stead.”

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